Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

The Hunger-The Terence Stamp Collection (1997)

The Hunger-The Terence Stamp Collection (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Overall Package

    A "high concept" TV series that slightly improved around the half-way mark when the budgets looked like they started to run out. Don't expect anything like the movie, but there's plenty of female flesh and the artistic filming would pull in a cult-style audience, even if the stories themselves are a little too confused to work in a half-hour format.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Monday, April 25, 2005
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-The Hunger: The David Bowie Collection, Outfoxed, Final Cut
Trailer-Silent Cry, The Honeymoon Killers
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 83:27
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Balthazar Getty
Amanda Ryan
Timothy Spall
Lena Headey
Karen Black
Daniel Craig
Philip Casnoff
Leonardo Cimino
Celine Bonnier
Tony de Santis
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

     Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of the dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    Episodes on this disc:

    Swords (28:03):
Musidora, a nightclub performer with a unique talent is prostituted out to James Chandler, a member of the audience.

    Ménage à Trois (27:17)
Steph Reynolds arrives to act as live-in nurse for the wheelchair-bound Miss Gati, but why did the last nurse leave?

    Necros (28:07)
William Cobb, on holiday abroad, is warned away from an old man who the locals call "Necros". But his young wife is hard to stay away from, and the old man cares only for playing bridge.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts on the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes. As the directors appear to choose to work in moodily-lit areas for preference, this is more distracting than one might otherwise expect.

    Colours are generally good, however again these are often intentionally distorted by directors in the name of "art".

    Although the digital transfer is relatively clean, there are white film artefacts throughout all three episodes. These are especially visible during the episode Ménage à Trois, as so much of it is recorded in gloom.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    This is a single-layer disc and no RSDL change is necessary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try to do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Although the dialogue sync is generally correct, the Foley sync is often quite poor. Examples of this can be seen in Ménage à Trois at 43:37, where the clock's ticks clearly do not match the movement of its hands, or at 45:46, where the drips from the tap do not match the effects provided for it.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Trailers

    This disc holds trailers for the boxed set of the second series of The Hunger, in which David Bowie replaces Terence Stamp in the role of "The Host". Trailers are also provided for a range of films distributed by DV1.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided of actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Monday, March 14, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 135:26
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (80:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Jason Scott Lee
Kenneth Welsh
Gregoriane Minot Payeur
Karen Elkin
Sally Kirkland
Curtis Armstrong
Kim Feeney
Robert Higden
Ilona Elkin
Nick Mancusco
Amanda de Cadanet
James Rae
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

    Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of the dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    Episodes on this disc:

The Secret Shih-Tan (28:00):
Craig Yu, a young and promising chef, meets a customer who appears to have the Shih-Tan - a fabled book of the finest recipes on Earth. What will Craig do to see the book and cook something that will let his diners "taste God"?

Bridal Suite (26:11)
Peter and his young bride come across a small bed & breakfast, just as a snowstorm is setting in. The landlady gives them the bridal suite, but warns them only to use it if Peter is faithful.

Room 17 (26:33)
Bert isn't a good salesman, and his shrewish wife is always hounding him about how little money they have. When the porn channel on his motel TV starts talking to him, has Bert gone insane?

Anaïs (27:36)
George Rain is an architect who is on business in Montreal. He asks directions from a girl who is sketching in a public square, then fantasises a relationship with her. Or is it actually a fantasy?

No Radio (27:06)
Jamie calls a phone late at night, looking for Miranda. It's the wrong number, but the woman who answers agrees to meet with Jamie anyway.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts on the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes. There is not as much low-light activity as in the first disc of the series, making this less apparent than there, but it can still be distracting on a larger display.

    Colours are generally good, where they are meant to replicate colours that exist in nature, but the palette is quite grey.

    Although the digital transfer is relatively clean, there are white film artefacts throughout all five episodes, but due to the darkness in which it was filmed these are most noticeable in the episode Anaïs.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    The RSDL change is appropriately placed between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try to do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 448 Kb/s - although the difference that this makes over the first disc which is encoded at 224 Kb/s is not noticeable.

    The dialogue sync is accurate, except during the opening scenes of Bridal Suite where the dialogue runs slightly behind the video for a little over two minutes.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided of actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

Gallery-Photo

    A handful of stills from episodes on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 82:21
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Michael Gross
Cary Lawrence
Karen Elkin
Thomas Arana
Liliana Komorowska
Benoit Briere
Dorothee Berryman
Marie-Josee Croze
Desmond Campbell
Esai Morales
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

    Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute, "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of the dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    Episodes on this disc:

But At My Back I Always Hear (27:04):
Frank Ingram, a Professor of American Literature, is harassed by a student who insists that he is calling her and sending her messages. Is she really just hearing voices?

Red Light (27:42)
A supermodel, suddenly uncomfortable under the flash of cameras, feels that her soul is being taken by the photographers. She runs from a catwalk show to seek sanctuary in the flat of her ex- - himself a photographer.

I'm Dangerous Tonight (27:35)
A demon drops a bolt of red cloth through the skylight of a Parisian fashion designer. She makes a dress from it, and asks her assistant to model the dress for an American couple.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts on the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are generally adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes. As the directors appear to choose to work in moodily-lit areas for preference, this is more distracting than one might otherwise expect. This is especially bad in the episode Red Light, and the grain is quite visible at time, even in good light.

    Colours are generally good, however again these are often intentionally distorted by directors in the name of "art". During Red Light, there is an increased use of shadow effects, which the lack of shadow clarity instead separates into strict visible-and-black areas.

    Although the digital transfer is relatively clean, there are white film artefacts throughout all three episodes.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    This is a single-layer disc and no RSDL change is necessary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 224 Kb/s

    The audio sync is generally accurate, but occasionally falls slightly away during the episode I'm Dangerous Tonight - never too greatly, but enough to be noticed.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided of actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-The Hunger: The David Bowie Collection, Icemaker
Trailer-Confidential Report, All The Little Animals, Dish Dogs
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 79:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Clare Sims
Margot Kidder
Donovan Reiter
Chad Lowe
Isabelle Cyr
Brooke Smith
Heather Mah
Paul Hopkins
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

    Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute, "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of the dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    More through coincidence than otherwise, the episodes on Disc 4 are among the best of the series, and are more reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt or better episodes of The Outer Limits than the film-school projects that many others in this series resemble.

    Episodes on this disc:

The Sloan Men (26:52):
Meeting her fiancé's parents for the first time, Judith's potential mother-in-law exposes Judith's fiancé and his father as inhuman monsters that control the minds of their women.

A Matter of Style (26:15)
Neville comes to self-awareness to find himself naked in a bar. A woman outside offers him a ride, telling him that he is a newly-made vampire and that she is his appointed mentor. But how hard is it for a vampire to hunt, anyway?

Hidebound(26:23)
Lee Cooper is an anthropology student who has taken a night job as a security guard at a decrepit building site. When alone, she discovers an odd-looking woman running naked around the site.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts on the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes and the outdoor, snowbound landscape of The Sloan Men.

    Colours are generally good, and there is no evidence of low-level noise in the blacks.

    Although the digital transfer is relatively clean, there are white film artefacts throughout all three episodes - less noticeable in these than in many other episodes, however. There is some evidence of the Gibb effect throughout Hidebound, which gives the effect of doubled grain around many of the sharper lines.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    This is a single-layer disc and no RSDL change is necessary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    The audio sync is generally accurate, but there are Foley sync failures throughout Hidebound, such as at 61:26, where a bell sounds slightly before a phone is hung up There are also odd dialogue volume fades throughout A Matter of Style.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Trailers

    This disc holds trailers for the boxed set of the second series of The Hunger, in which David Bowie replaces Terence Stamp in the role of "The Host". Trailers are also provided for a range of films distributed by DV1.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided of actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so. If you are to try one disc as representative of the boxed set, the episodes on this disc are better (on average) than the others, but are not representative of the artistic self-indulgence of much of the rest.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Friday, March 18, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 131:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (52:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Kim Feeney
Marni Thompson
Lena Blackburn
Ann Turkel
Simone-Elise Girard
Jayne Heitmeyer
Anik Redburn
Andreas Apergis
Jesse Borrego
Doris Milmore
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

    Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute, "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of the dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    Episodes on this disc:

Fly By Night (26:01):
Sonja is a war veteran who's being kept in an asylum. She recognises a new inmate as a vampire, and offers to help him escape in return for eternal life.

A River of Night's Dreaming (26:32)
A van transporting prisoners crashes into a river. Gena escapes and takes refuge in a house with two women who look to bring her to God.

The Lighthouse (26:02)
A writer, running from a broken relationship, volunteers to keep a remote lighthouse. While alone, he starts to imagine his perfect woman - Angelica.

The Face of Helen Bournouw (26:05)
Helen's lovers are at the top of their careers when Helen leaves them, and their obsession for her leads them to self-destruction. A journalist spots the pattern and starts looking for Helen.

Plain Brown Envelope (27:01)
Sophie is a journalist who's starting a series of articles as she hitchhikes across the country. She's picked up by Jess, in a truck painted like a plain, brown envelope. The truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the two climb into the back of the semi for warmth.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts on the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are generally adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes. As the directors appear to choose to work in moodily-lit areas by preference, this is more distracting than one might otherwise expect.

    Colours are generally good, although the palette is relatively thin in each episode.

    Although the digital transfer is adequate, the transfers on this disc aren't as good as on the others in the series, with aliasing especially noticeable at 7:41 and 48:08, and macro-blocking quite substantial in some scenes with dramatic lighting changes such as at 22:23. There are white film artefacts throughout all three episodes, and the stock footage in the episodes Fly by Night and The Lighthouse is sharply different from the surrounding filmed pieces.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    The RSDL change is well-placed between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try to do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 448 Kb/s.

    The audio sync is generally accurate, but occasionally falls slightly away during the episode Fly By Night, such as at 23:19.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided for actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

Gallery-Photo

    A handful of stills from episodes on this disc. The stills can be seen to contain spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 1: Desolation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 2: Damnation (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 3: Darkling (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 4: Infernal (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 5: Revelations (1997) | Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

Hunger, The-Terrence Stamp Collection-Volume 6: Malevolence (1997)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 15-Mar-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-The Hunger: The David Bowie Collection Opening Sequence
Bonus Track-DJ Italic: The Hunger Remixed
Notes-The Hunger Chronology
DVD Credits
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 78:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean Beaudin
Tom Dey
Christian Duguay
Daniel Grou
Studio
Distributor
Showtime
Ovation
Starring Terence Stamp
Lisa Bronwyn Moore
Nicholas Campbell
Joanna Cassidy
Serge Houde
Audrey Benoit
James Bradford
David La Haye
Sheena Larkin
Doris Milmore
Sofia Shinas
Paul Anthony Stewart
Case ?
RPI Box Music Nick Amour
Klaus Badelt
Andy Carroll


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Forget the overwrought dialogue. Forget the overacting. Forget the stories that go nowhere. Forget the telegraphed story twists. Forget the naked women. Feel the art, damnit.

    OK, don't forget the naked women.

    Tony Scott's 1983 movie, The Hunger, was a vampire movie where style was held over substance, but once you relaxed into it, you could let yourself be carried away without caring about the poorly-defined characters or odd motivations. The television series of the same name may not be related - episodes being independent, 30-minute, "erotic horror" drama pieces - but it attempts to capture some of the style of the original film.

    Produced by Scott and his better-known brother Ridley, the TV series misses many of the things that made the film a genre success. Consistent scriptwriting? Partly. Direction that isn't pretentious enough to make you think that most of the directors have made just one too many commercials and are dying to make a name for themselves as auteurs? That too. Mostly, however, it is simply missing enough time for an audience to accept the characters and start to explore a plot. Tales from the Crypt showed that if you left character development alone, and didn't concentrate on reminding your audience at every opportunity that they were busy watching art, you could squeeze a fun little horror piece into half an hour - most of the time. It's easy to remember that with shows like Tales and The Twilight Zone there were at least as many duds as there were memorable shows. Regardless, it's easy to see how episodes of The Hunger could have been greatly improved if they were permitted to run an extra half hour.

    Although there was a certain amount of star power in the show - directors included Tony Scott and Highlander's Russell Mulcahey, the cast is full of "hey, I've seen that guy before!" actors such as Jason Scott Lee and Margot Kidder, episodes are based on short stories by writers such as Robert Bloch, Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman and Brian Lumley, and Harlan Ellison is among the scriptwriters - the show was betrayed by its formula. What horror exists doesn't have enough lead time to build, and while full frontal nudity is involved, episodes outdo each other to ensure that any erotica present is somehow drained of passion. Everything else is lost among the jump cuts and intentionally bizarre camera angles until we arrive at the twist ending which - once you recognise that it is there - is rarely difficult to pick. Each episode is topped and tailed by a short speech delivered to camera by a Terence Stamp that is trying to be icily creepy while struggling mightily to avoid falling over the line into camp. Unfortunately, this stylistic nod to Tales from the Crypt only reminds viewers of the better-crafted original. Add to this the theme, which combines the most lyrical aspects of a dentist's drill with the migraine-inducing power of an angle grinder and a title series designed to say nothing while inducing epilepsy (no, there's no neatly-placed chapter stop to allow it to be skipped past), and the series is struggling before the episodes start.

    There is a difference between watching a weekly show on TV and watching episodes successively on DVD. When episodes are grouped together, the strengths and weaknesses of the show become more concentrated. While this series may have been much more watchable over the course of 22 weeks, and while the occasional episode is far better than mediocre, I can't see myself setting a video to make sure I catch The Hunger.

    Episodes on this disc:

The Other Woman (26:09):
A new fashion designer and her mentor fall for each other, but his wife won't stand for an affair.

Clarimonde (26:38)
A newly-consecrated priest is assigned to a rural parish in mid-nineteenth century Quebec, but he is haunted by the image of a woman he glimpsed while taking his vows.

Footsteps (26:02)
A shapeshifting maneater is chased from city to city, but in Paris she meets someone who reaches her on another level.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is quite a good digital transfer, despite some artefacts in the film.

    The Hunger is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The outlines and shadow detail are generally adequate, although not exceptional throughout. There is a level of grain in the original film that is particularly noticeable in low-light scenes. As the directors appear to choose to work in moodily-lit areas for artistic reasons, this is more distracting than one might otherwise expect.

    Colours are generally good, however again these are often intentionally distorted by directors in the name of "art". Many of the episodes have quite low levels of colour variation, which is more a factor of the directors' choices than the filming.

    Although the digital transfer is relatively clean, there are white film artefacts throughout all three episodes. There is also stock footage used during Footsteps which is glaringly apparent, and strobe-type lighting at 68:49 which causes substantial macro-blocking.

    There is no subtitle track on this disc.

    This is a single-layer disc and no RSDL change is necessary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio doesn't try do too much, and as a result does not disappoint.

    The sole audio track is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    The audio sync is accurate and dialogue is relatively distinct.

    Music is generally reasonably produced, but can drown out the dialogue on occasion.

    Surround channels are not used throughout the episodes, but are active during the menu scenes.

    The subwoofer is not troubled throughout any of the episodes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The main menu is preceded by a small snatch of the opening credits, accompanied by a whine that makes you want to skip through it as quickly as possible.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    The main menu is shown over the opening credits. Again, the hideous whine that accompanies the opening credits is here, making you want to skip past it as quickly as possible.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Three one-page biographies are provided for actors and directors whose work is on this disc.

Trailer

    A trailer for the second series of The Hunger that is also included on discs 1 and 4 of this set.

Bonus Track - The Hunger Remix (DJ Italic - 4:20)

    An audio track which purports to remix music from the series, but proves to be a very bland dance track.

Notes - The Hunger Chronology

    A list of all episodes of the two series of The Hunger, showing their original air order and date and the production order.

DVD Credits

    The identities and contact details of the set's authors and distributors.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Over two series, there were 44 episodes of The Hunger produced. The Region 1 release takes the form of individual discs, each collecting four random (or, at best, thematically-linked) episodes together. For the PAL transfer, the season sets and the fact that they are shown in on-air order, Region 4's version is a clear winner.

Summary

    A series that tries to do too much and leaves everything half-done. There is better episodic horror out there, and there is far better erotica. The Hunger is light entertainment that takes itself far, far too seriously and lacks the substance to do so.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Gaut (A bio? Have I no privacy?)
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayPanasonic TX-86PW300A. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-512.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-512
SpeakersWharfedale Diamond 8.3 fronts, Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 rears, Wharfedale Diamond 8 centre, Wharfedale 12" sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE